One of my first jobs in the US was at a local Italian restaurant. And one of the things I remember vividly was their bread. Crusty, golden-brown loaves were piled on a table releasing a firework of crumbs upon contact with the knife. It was messy, delicious, filling, crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Perfect for soaking in massive amounts of olive oil and vinegar. Some of my responsibilities were to refill the waters and to bring slices of this bread to the table.
To go straight to the recipe for Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Provolone Sandwich, click here.
Now, I had to wait for the customers to order dinner to deliver it. Otherwise, people seemed to have discovered their inner peasants. They happily munched on this bread and water, not having ANY room left for dinner. Very flattering for the baker, very maddening for the chef. And bookkeeper.
It is now almost 10 years since I’ve worked there. My husband and I have been there a few times together since then. I definitely saw the appeal of filling up on bread. Then, he told me about a sandwich he used to eat in Italy, made with this kind of bread. It sounded simple, rustic, delicious, and I knew I had to recreate it. Which is often a start to the best of my culinary adventures!
The Bread Part
I set out to find the recipe to try and the first one proved lucky. Melanie at Gather for Bread shared a recipe for Rustic Italian Bread. It looked, smelled, and tasted exactly like the bread from the restaurant!
Drizzled generously with olive oil & balsamic, stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto, and provolone – it is out of this world delicious. My mouth is watering just writing about it. The crusty edges, buttery olive oil, tangy balsamic, salty prosciutto, sharp provolone, and mellow mozzarella – this is The Sandwich. And I think you will love it.
I do think you should try making this bread if you are interested in bread making. Not to mention, it makes the sandwich a lot more authentic and that’s just fun 🙂 However, it is time-consuming. And, this is a recipe for a sandwich, not the bread, despite the ode I wrote to it. So, my very close second choice, recommendation, and what I used in the photograph – Pane Italian. I found one at our local supermarket, freshly baked in-store. It’s soft, tasty, held everything in place, and absorbed a lot of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Provolone Sandwich
- 4 slices Rustic Italian loaf or Pane Italian
- 6 slices mozzarella
- 8 strips sharp provolone sold at a cheese counter, not prepackaged slices
- 4 pieces prosciutto
- olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- basil leaves (optional, but good 🙂 )
- Lay out 4 slices of bread on the cutting board in front of you.
- Drizzle two with olive oil and two with balsamic vinegar.
- The sides that have olive oil on them will be the bottoms of two sandwiches. Divide the prosciutto, provolone, mozzarella, and basil, if using between the two.
- Top with the side that has balsamic vinegar on it, and enjoy immideately! 🙂